Joe´s Music Rack
Part of

On Bourbon Street With
The Phenomenal Dukes of Dixeland
Volume 4

Dukes of Dixieland

On Bourbon Street With The Dukes of Dixeland Volume 4On Bourbon Street With The Dukes of Dixeland Volume 4
There maybe be some spottings on the pictures - THERE ARE NO SPOTS on the Album


Audio Fidelity...AFLP 1860...AFSD 5860 A/B...1958...33 1/3 LP...Stereo

Side 1
1) "Saints" - Assunto/Frey...5:30
2) Sensation Rag - Assunto/Frey...3:45
3) Chimes Blues - Oliver...4:00
4) St. James Infirmary - Primrose...4:40 (3:10)
5) Dippermouth Blues - Joseph (Joe) Nathan "King" Oliver...3:01
6) Memphis Blues - W. C Handyy...4:17

Side 2
1) New Orleans Funeral - Assunto/Frey...4:18
2) Riverboat Shuffle - Hoagy Carmichael...2:55
3) Weary Blues - Matthews...3:55
4) Eccentric - Robinson...3:32
5) Royal Garden Blues - Williams/Williams...4:17
6) Back Home In Indiana - C. W. Hanley...3:28


Frank Assunto - trumpet
Fred Assunto - trumbone
Jac Assunto - trombone and bango
Jack Maheu - clarinet
Stanley Mendelson - piano
Tommy Rundell - drums
Bill Porter - tuba and string bass

On Bourbon Street With The Phenomenal Dukes of Dixeland Volume 4

They used to call New Orleans the city of pleasure. Not just because of the ladies of pleasure, or because of the hot spots, the honky tonks, barrel houses, gambling joints or the grape, but because music ran through its veins. It was this way when New Orleans brought forth a new musical style known as ragtime at the turn of the 20th century. And so it was when a new major jazz style known as Dixieland evolved.

No other city in the world has had so many jazz musicians - both full-time and part-time. No other city has been able to boast so many bands. No other city has had so many clubs identified with top names in music - the Red Onion, the Keystone, Pete Lala´s, Countess Willie Piazza´s, Lulu White´s, Spanola´s and the Famous Door, to mention just a few.

Folks in New Orleans still talk about The Dukes of Dixieland and their 44 month stand at the Famous Door. They remember how The Dukes - like all young musicians in New Orleans - struggled as youths to make a name for themselves. They talk about The Dukes´ genius for hammering out a beat; about how they could play slow, low-down gutstruts or fast jive with a swing until the dancers were exhausted and dripping wet; about how they could nearly blow a man down with a hot horn.

* * *

Originally, there was no such style as Dixieland. It was around 1900 that a music we recognize as jazz began to be played in New Orleans. This music contained elements of West African and European music, as well as elements of American Negro music. It was only natural that New Orleans, where Europeans (particularly the French creoles) and Negroes made up majority of the city´s citizens, was the one place in the United States where this blending began in come in, popular music for the most part was ragtime, a form which involves a syncopated melody superimposed on a regular rhythmic beat and a direct outgrowth of European and West African models. By the 1920&@180;s, blues was very popular, and as the form took on a more pronounced fusion of European and West African elements, ragrime was relegated to a more obscure place.

Dixieland is essentially orchestral ragtime, except that it is more simple structurally and more complicated rhythmically. It takes its name from the generic term which has come to be applied to the southland, and from the famous, original Dixieland Band, which enjoyed wide popularity during the early part of the 20th century.

New Orleans music presents a marked contrast with Dixieland in that the former had an easy going, lazy kind of style, while the latter is essentially more dynamic and more provocative. Another differnce is that while New Orleans jazz was chiefly harmonic in conception and execution. Dixieland makes harmonic color secondary to melodic line. Finally, the instrumentation in New Orleans music was more or less catch-as-catch-can, with more emphasis on improvised instrumental and sound effects than on a well-rounded instrumental choir and well-balanced tonality. Musicians today reconize the need for a basic and balanced instrumental ensemble, and the stadard Dixieland ensemble consists of trombone, trumpet, clarinet, tuba, string bass, drums, piano, and piano or guitar. This, of course, can be varied to taste.

The Dukes of Dixieland, like hundreds of combos that first saw the light of day in New Orleans, breathed, ate and slept music until they grew of age. Their musical heritage is described well by one famous jazz musician as follow: "One on my pleasantest memories as a kid in New Orleans was how a bunch of us, playing, would suddenly hear sounds. We wouldn´t be sure of where they were coming from, so we´d starte trotting, running. And sometimes, after running for a while, you´d find you´d be nowhere near tha music. But that music would come on you any time like that. The city was full of the sounds of music."

And no wonder. There were countless places that employed musicians, not including private affairs, balls, soirees, banquets, confirmation, picnics, country hayrides and carnivals. Answering this demand were hundreds and hundreds of children who yearned to play music, and whose greatest thrill came the day they were able to buy their first real instrument.

The Dukes of Dixieland work with special arrangements which are planned and then analyzed in detail. Since each member of the combo is virtuoso of top caliber, instrumental lines are worked out in such a manner as to afford each player an opportunity to display his talents. Consequently, the net result is such as to create the impression with the listener that he is hearing an almost entirely improvised performance.

* * *

The Dukes of Dixieland have had a meteoric career since 1947, when two members of this jazz combo - Frank and Fred Assunto - got together a high school Dixieland band in their native New Orleans.

Taking the name Basin Street Four, Five, Six or whatever number of players they could round up whenever they decided to have a session, they rehearsed after school and filled week-end engagements in a local restaurant.

Where many New Orleans failed because of ambition, they persisted. And their big moment came when prepared to play on the Horace Heidt radio show, which came to town on a talent-junting expedition. Their performance on the show drew kudos from every side, and they were invited to join the Hiedt organization on the road. After several months with Heidt, the Junior Dixie Band, as they called themselves, earned enough money to move up the ladder. They returned to New Orleans, changed their name to The Dukes of Dixieland, became professionals and bought themselves uniforms. Since that time they have appeared in top clubs and hotels in major cities across the nation, and have established an enthusiastic following wverywhere. This following has been widened through their tree earlier Audio Fidelity Records (AFLP 1823, 1840 and 1851).

An inspirational force for The Dukes has been Jac Assunto, father of Frank and Fred, who is known as Papa Jac in the combo. Jac can more than hold his own as a musician, but also has helped the combo immeasurably through his training in business administration, in which he holds a degree from Tulane University. Jac is might proud of his two sons, who are the brass virtuosi of the combo, and of pretty singer Betty Owens, referred to professionally as "The Duchess," and Mrs. Fred Assunto in pivate life.

Write for free catalogs listing the latest Audio Fidelity monaural, Stereodisc* and Stereo Mastertape* releases: Audio Fidelity, 770 Eleventh Avenue, New York 19, New York.
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A Study in Sterephonoic High Fidelity

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On Bourbon Street With The Phenomenal Dukes of Dixeland Volume 4

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